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  1.  
    Perhaps I expect too much; be it my age of 45 years, or it being “just how things are these days”, but I am a bit put out with my local bike shops. Case in point, I’m looking for a new replacement saddle, so I go the manufactures website & find two LBS’s listed as dealers & pay them a visit. I ask to see one of these products because I’m one of those people who likes to see an item I’m going to be dropping some cash on first hand. The guy tells me “we can order you one”. Strike one LBS brand name dealer. I tell the guy that I am trying to keep my business local, that if I wanted to get a great price on a particular bike part or accessory I could easily have found it on line, likely with free shipping as well. I then ask him that if I order through his shop will he mach a price online? He asks me if the online place has it in stock. I ask him what difference it makes since he doesn’t have the same item in stock either. As you can imagine, this guy is getting a little unhappy about now, which is my point folks. This happened at both “authorized dealers” I just drove out of my way to spend my money at. This isn’t an isolated instance. Time after time my LBS’s don’t have what I need, be it a particular common brake pad, bar grip, bar plug, brake or shifting cable, inertubes, pedals, size clothing, glove or cycling shoe.
    Look, I know that each LBS I frequent doesn’t have the resources to carry the stock for every possible need that wanders in through the door, particularly these days, but come on guys! I’m spending extra so that you’ll be there in business when I need you! If you’re going to just order it online from your distributor then mark it up 20% to pay your rent I might as well eliminate the middle man & order it myself.
    Attitude is another thing; one shop I no longer frequent has a guy that seems to know more about skateboards than bikes. Heck, I have even taught HIM things when I’m looking for something in particular. One time I found an accessory on the wall he didn’t know he had, let alone what it was used for...

    The bottom line is as the one spending the money, I expect any business I visit to cater to my needs in a professional & helpful way. If they don’t know the answer or have the part please, direct me to a source that does without a bunch of crappy excuses or attitude. If a LBS isn’t helpful time after time, I stop going there. If enough people do this, then the LBS goes out of business. Please LBS workers & owners, remember this. You just may save your own job in doing so.

    Any one with info to a LBS deserving of my business in south east Michigan would be welcome...


    Thanks for letting me vent.



    PS. I’ll most likely be buying my saddle online from:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/index.html (Because they have been such a wealth of information over the years)
    OR
    http://www.universalcycles.com/
    • CommentAuthorwes m.
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2009 edited
     
    Well, what do you expect them to do? Like you said, they cant carry every component considering how many are in production nowadays. If a shop sells nitto bars just imagine how much space it would take to stock one of each bar in each size. They cant match the online price because they are an actual shop not a warehouse. They should be friendly and know their shit. I'll give you that much. Outside of being friendly, knowledgeable, and fitting whatever they can into the limited shop space there isnt anything else they can do.
  2.  
    I agree, you're talking about a problem all local shops have. They can ALWAYS be undersold and out stocked. The only thing they can give their customers is someone to talk to in person. I would be pissed off too if a customer was asking me to sell shit at cost simply because I didn't stock it.
  3.  
    Posted By: suicide_doorsI would be pissed off too if a customer was asking me to sell shit at cost simply because I didn't stock it.
    not unless online price or price matched was higher and you'd make a profit. even if you can make an even trade with no profit gains you still tax them and can write it off on the income tax.
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2009
     
    If they are listed as on authorized dealer I think it is reasonable to expect them to stock that company's latest product. That is how you keep your customers interested, by having the new shit in stock. LBS's are constantly assing themselves out by not following this one rule of retail operation.

    Do you think if Converse came out with some new "colorway" for the All-Star, that every store that sells them wouldn't have it in stock?
    • CommentAuthorthe rabbi
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2009
     
    but $40 shoes are a lot easier to sell than a $200 saddle.
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2009
     
    Ok do you think when some new douchebag Ed Hardy t-shirt drops it ain't in stores? They're about $200 bucks.
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2009
     
    Posted By: the rabbibut $40 shoes are a lot easier to sell than a $200 saddle.

    And given that Converse is a big company, while all saddle makers are small comapnies, the shoe dealer is much more likely to get a full manufacturer's refund on inventory of the "colorways" that the much-larger universe of All-Star consumers deem unwearably ugly.
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2009
     
    Yeah that's why last years/season's shit ends up at discount stores like Ross and Big Lots, because manufacturers buy back unsold merchandise.

    You know how B-43 aren't really available yet? Velo Cult in San Diego has them in stock in silver, black, and white, two different drillings, and has had them since I was there this summer. They have Velo Orange stuff and they have All-City, and they have the new Panaracer RibMo tires. Velo Cult understands that if they want business they have to have the new shit, even if people are just gonna gawk at it or fondle it. It get customers in the door and salivating and they usually end up buying something.
  4.  
    its all about balence. you have to make sure you have enough new stuff to keep people intersted and still stock the old or unthought of stuff people need a shop to have.
    • CommentAuthorfixedpuch
    • CommentTimeSep 20th 2009
     
    Pete, was the shop an IBD or a chain shop?
  5.  
    Posted By: stinky petePerhaps I expect too much; be it my age of 45 years, or it being “just how things are these days”, but I am a bit put out with my local bike shops. Case in point, I’m looking for a new replacement saddle, so I go the manufactures website & find two LBS’s listed as dealers & pay them a visit. I ask to see one of these products because I’m one of those people who likes to see an item I’m going to be dropping some cash on first hand. The guy tells me “we can order you one”. Strike one LBS brand name dealer. I tell the guy that I am trying to keep my business local, that if I wanted to get a great price on a particular bike part or accessory I could easily have found it on line, likely with free shipping as well. I then ask him that if I order through his shop will he mach a price online? He asks me if the online place has it in stock. I ask him what difference it makes since he doesn’t have the same item in stock either. As you can imagine, this guy is getting a little unhappy about now, which is my point folks. This happened at both “authorized dealers” I just drove out of my way to spend my money at. This isn’t an isolated instance. Time after time my LBS’s don’t have what I need, be it a particular common brake pad, bar grip, bar plug, brake or shifting cable, inertubes, pedals, size clothing, glove or cycling shoe.
    Look, I know that each LBS I frequent doesn’t have the resources to carry the stock for every possible need that wanders in through the door, particularly these days, but come on guys! I’m spending extra so that you’ll be there in business when I need you! If you’re going to just order it online from your distributor then mark it up 20% to pay your rent I might as well eliminate the middle man & order it myself.
    Attitude is another thing; one shop I no longer frequent has a guy that seems to know more about skateboards than bikes. Heck, I have even taught HIM things when I’m looking for something in particular. One time I found an accessory on the wall he didn’t know he had, let alone what it was used for...

    The bottom line is as the one spending the money, I expect any business I visit to cater to my needs in a professional & helpful way. If they don’t know the answer or have the part please, direct me to a source that does without a bunch of crappy excuses or attitude. If a LBS isn’t helpful time after time, I stop going there. If enough people do this, then the LBS goes out of business. Please LBS workers & owners, remember this. You just may save your own job in doing so.

    Any one with info to a LBS deserving of my business in south east Michigan would be welcome...


    Thanks for letting me vent.



    PS. I’ll most likely be buying my saddle online from:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/index.html (Because they have been such a wealth of information over the years)
    OR
    http://www.universalcycles.com/
  6.  
    I have to agree with some of the people who responded. Tell you what though. Don't take any reviews as gospel when it comes to your ass, and any real bike person will tell you what they have gone through to find the 'right' saddle. Unless you have ridden on that dream saddle for a half hour or more, you have no idea what it will be like, and if it is expensive, it will be all that more painful (sorry for that one), but really, go to the nice local bike shops, and sit on a few bikes. Go ahead and adjust the height and keep trying. Find a nice one? Great, ask for a ride around the block. You will get it, no problem. You are old enough and everyone knows older people have money! You are not likely to plunk money down on a nice sport coat without trying it on, same goes for stuff like this. Bottom line: it has to fit you and not hurt.
  7.  
    Sorry about that bottom line, double entendre at the end of the response!
    • CommentAuthorRuffinit
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2009
     
    I understand the rant. I constantly get bit because though I'm not really into the new faddish stuff, the shops fail in helping me transition between my "vintage" bikes and the new stuff.. simple things like one of my RhodeGear frame pumps has quit working. They have tons of these dinky little pumps that mount to a water bottle boss which I don't want and no frame pumps. Finally I ask if anyone makes frame pumps and then he comes up with a Yes... Why do I feel I have to drag the info out of them. I'll most certainly be around longer than they and will be returning, so why make it difficult?
    I think one of the points of being an authorized distributor for a company is that a shop can order something up that may be new and stylish with the option of returning it if the customer finds he doesn't like it.
  8.  
    pete i hope you didn't get too much attitude from great lakes (feel free to pm me with damaging detail, if necessary). i go way back with the shop, i think my first schwinn bantam came from kiddie korner around 1966, and my older son has worked there for several years while not in school, so i have become one of the family. i don't go anywhere else. the owner is a totally straight-up guy, but he really doesn't want to compete with the internet. i think he takes the view that wanting to support your local shop, but expecting them to match online prices is trying to have it both ways. he would prefer you to cut out the middleman for the kinds of things that aren't in stock, and to use his shop for the things you can't get online, like a bike that fits, or repairs that last. and wheels: if you ever need a wheel built that is the place to go. i have been pounding these wheels for years commuting here, and they haven't even needed to be trued once.

    that said i was a little disappointed when i went in to get tubes the other day and the shortest presta stems they had were 48 mm. it must be all those deep vs everybody's riding these days.
  9.  
    Damn kids and their unnecessarily deep rims.
    • CommentAuthorcicadashell
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2009 edited
     
    damned kids, their rims are too deep and their bars are too narrow! and don't get me started on their pants!

  10.  
    Posted By: fixedpuchPete, was the shop an IBD or a chain shop?


    All LBS shops I go to are IBD,s since I figure they are the ones who need my buisness.
    • CommentAuthorstinky pete
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2009 edited
     
    Posted By: jaguardatsunsI have to agree with some of the people who responded. Tell you what though. Don't take any reviews as gospel when it comes to your ass, and any real bike person will tell you what they have gone through to find the 'right' saddle. Unless you have ridden on that dream saddle for a half hour or more, you have no idea what it will be like, and if it is expensive, it will be all that more painful (sorry for that one), but really, go to the nice local bike shops, and sit on a few bikes. Go ahead and adjust the height and keep trying. Find a nice one? Great, ask for a ride around the block. You will get it, no problem. You are old enough and everyone knows older people have money! You are not likely to plunk money down on a nice sport coat without trying it on, same goes for stuff like this. Bottom line: it has to fit you and not hurt.


    Bottom line is that they have to have one before I can try one out. There policy, as I understand it, is that if you order something specific, you are expected to buy it. I think that is a bunch of crap if they are supposed to be an authorized dealer...
 
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